Tuesday, November 13, 2018

SS Edmund Fitzgerald



Courtesy | Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, Roger LeLievre

On November 10, 1975, the ore freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank during a storm en route from Superior, WI to Detroit, MI. Twenty nine crew members were lost when the vessel went down in 530 feet of water, 17 miles NW of Whitefish Bay in Lake Superior. The story is well-known, through the famed Gordon Lightfoot song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”
Hear Gordon Lightfoot's song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.”
or click this link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vST6hVRj2A

I usually never forget to post a link about the Edmund Fitzgerald but I'm a little late this year.
This story and song is one of my favorites. I hope you will remember this great ship and crew.

Monday, November 12, 2018

You just can't be nice


I'm retired and enjoy just setting in the porch swing doing nothing some of the time. While swinging away I catch the site of some people walking toward my house. I watch them and when they get closer I see a young mother with several small kids. One of the boys is carrying a gas can. They get in front of my house, I yell are you out of gas, Yes the mother replies in a tired disgusting voice. I told her to wait a minute. I went to my backyard shed and retrieved my gas can. I ask where is your car, she told me it was about one forth mile down the road. I told them to get in my car and I would take them back and get the car started. Upon ariving at there car I poured in the fuel and started the car. She ask me what do I owe you, I told her nothing as I may be out of gas some day and she could help me. About a year later my phone rang and it was the lady that I helped. I have a computer repair business and she had computer trouble. She brought me the computer and in a few hours I called to tell her it was fixed. She came and picked the computer up, paid the bill and off she went. A few months later she called again, She told me her computer was hit by lightning and she had several other computers she would give me if I would fix the lightning damaged computer. I said I would do that. A day or two passed and she brought me about six old slow computers that had been stored in an unheated out building for about three years. There was other things like incomplete sets of floppy disks, fax machines, monitors, and other non-working things. I carried the one she wanted fixed into the shop. The burnt ozone smell was coming from it. I told her that it smelled and when they smell burnt it is most likely all over. I told her I would look at it and see what I could do to fix it. I took the case off and started testing, it was real bad, lightning had done the big number on it. Most of it was damaged and un-repairable. I called her and told her the computer was not repairable at all. I told her I may be able to repair one of the other computers, This was OK with her. I started taking the other computers apart to retreative workable parts. Not many were found so I took some of my used parts and pieced together a slow 400 Mhz. workable computer. I sorted through the pile of parts and found almost nothing I wanted to keep. It was all going to be thrown away. I called her telling her I had a workable computer now ready for her to pick up. When she came for the computer I told her I made a bad deal as all of the parts she gave me was going to the garbage. She told me she had a dumpster at her home and would take it all back to the dumpster if I'd like. I told her fine and one of her kids loaded it all up. There was two computer cases and the one lightning damaged one setting away from the others. I was going to keep these for the cases. She said nothing about wanting these back. The value of the three was nothing. She told me she had several years of photos on the lightning damaged one. I told her I would try to save them but most times I can't. She said do I owe you anything. I said it would be nice if she gave me $35.00, she agreed and wrote me a check. She laughed and said it was her boyfriends bank account. I laughed and told her she had better hang on to a boyfriend that would let her have his checkbook. Off she went happy as a lark. I did tell her I would call if I could save her photos. The next day I removed the hard drive and after much time and sweat I burnt the pictures to CD. I called her telling her the good news, she said she would come the next day to pick up the CD. The door bell rang, It was her daughter wanting the CD. I also gave her a game CD that I had found in the CD ROM. She ask me if she could take the lightning damaged computer back home with her. I told her I had already put it out for the trash and it was gone. She said OK and left. Now comes the good part. In about a week the phone rang the party said he wanted his computer back because he had a lot of money in it. I told him I no longer had it as it was put out with the garbage. After telling me he had a lot of money in that computer about six times he said OK thanks and hung up the phone. In about another week I get a certified letter from the lady telling me I had stolen her computer and  sold it. She was going to take me to small claims court. Also she wrote not to call, email, or talk to her. At the end of the letter she said "I'll be waiting to hear from you". I never called or talked to her after receiving the letter. Another two or three weeks go by and her boyfriend called to tell me that she wanted him to call and ask what I was going to do. I told him I was not going to negotiate with him as he was not in the deal. He told me a few times that he had a lot of money in that computer but he was calm and said OK good by. Now for the real good part. The phone rings a few days latter and she tells me she is filling out the court papers this day. I just said "OK fine" Now she goes wild screaming if you don't quit stocking me I am going to have a guy from Holton beat you up. I said WHOOOO what are you taking about. She tells me I followed her from New Marion to Holton and she has three witnesses to prove it. She also said I was terrifying her children. I just said,"This conversation is over" and hung up the phone. I have not been in either town for about a year. I have never now or in the past stalked anyone, So I have no idea where she is coming from. I went and told this same story to the sheriff's deputy, He said yaw I know these people and I'll talk to them and get back to you. He took my phone number but never called back. This is not the end of the story I'm sure. I'll write the ending soon, that is if I can type with broken arms or am not dead ! I am carrying a gun now, I have my guns loaded in my locked house and I watch the rear view mirror very closely when I travail. The sheriff has their names, so if I come up dead or missing read him this letter. To be not continued "I hope".

Nothing from the sheriff or the lady  has been heard. Yes, you just cant be nice.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Versailles Indiana High School class photos


If you have the time look at Versailles Indiana High School class photos. I will bet you will see a few old friends there. This page is a winner. I get lots of great comments about it, It has all the class photos from 1929 to 1966 that lined the study hall wall and a few others such as the band, basketball teams, and Sunshine girls.
http://wb9otx.com/class.htm
I have these photos scanned and digitized, so if you need any or all, let me know. I have them in  hi-res format for printing.

Much work by a few dedicated people went into creating this page for you.
Please thank Ken Sheets, Charley Pangburn, and myself.

**** Note
...... Jack Demaree's photo does not appear. Here is  a quote from Principle Forest Waters, " For the good of the community and Versailles High School you will no-longer be permitted to attend Versailles High School". 

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Remember November 11th is Veterans Day

Remember November 11th is Veterans Day--Some Thoughts
by
Father Dennis Edward O'Brien
Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye.
Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg - or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's ally forged in the refinery of adversity.
Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem.
You can't tell a vet just by looking.
What is a vet?
He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.
He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.
She - or he - is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.
He is the POW who went away one person and came back another - or didn't come back AT ALL.
He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat - but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs.
He is the parade - riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.
He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.
He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.
He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket - palsied now and aggravatingly slow - who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.
He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being - a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.
He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest,greatest nation ever known.
So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say Thank You. That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.
Two little words that mean a lot, "THANK YOU".
Remember November 11th is Veterans Day
"It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag, And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protestor to burn the flag."
Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, USMC
11/11/98

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Photo by: Jack Demaree
1.
How many steps does the guard take
during his walk across the tomb
of the Unknowns and why?
21 steps:
It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute
which is the highest honor given
any military or foreign dignitary.
2.
How long does he hesitate after his about face
to begin his return walk and why?
21 seconds
for the same reason as answer number 1.

3.
Why are his gloves wet?

His gloves are moistened
to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.
4.
Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder
all the time and , if not, why not?
He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb
After his march across the path,
he executes an about face and moves the rifle
to the outside shoulder.

5.
How often are the guards changed?

Guards are changed every thirty minutes,
twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.
6.
What are the physical traits
of the guard limited to?
For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb,
he must be between 5' 10' and 6' 2' tall and
his waist size cannot exceed 30.
They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb,
live in a barracks under the tomb,
and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty
for the rest of their lives.
They cannot swear in public
for the rest of their lives
and cannot disgrace the uniform or the tomb in any way.
After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin
that is worn on his lapel
signifying he served as guard of the tomb.
There are only 400 presently worn.
The guards must obey these rules
for the rest of their lives
or give up the wreath pin.
The shoes are specially made with very thick soles
to keep the heat and cold from their feet.
There are metal heel plates
that extend to the top of the shoe
in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt.
There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform.
Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror.
The first six months of duty
a guard cannot talk to anyone nor watch TV.
All off duty time is spent
studying the 175 notable people laid to rest
in Arlington National Cemetery.
A guard must memorize who they are
and where they are interred.
Among the notables are:
President Taft,
Joe Lewis {the boxer}
Medal of Honor winner Audie L. Murphy, the most
decorated soldier of WWII and of Hollywood fame.
Every guard spends five hours a day
getting his uniforms ready for guard duty.

ETERNAL REST GRANT THEM O LORD
AND LET PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON THEM.

In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was
approaching Washington, DC,
our US Senate/House took 2 days off
with anticipation of the storm.
On the ABC evening news,
it was reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane,
the military members assigned the duty
of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
were given permission to suspend the assignment.
They respectfully declined the offer, "No way, Sir!"
Soaked to the skin,
marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm,
they said that guarding the Tomb
was not just an assignment,
it was the highest honor that can be afforded
to a service person.
The tomb has been patrolled continuously,
24/7, since 1930.
God Bless and keep them.
I'd be very proud
if this Blog reached as many as possible.
We can be very proud
of our young men and women in the service
no matter where they serve.

See more photos